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The Romance of the Rose (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Guillaume de Lorris , Jean de Meun , Félix Lecoy , Frances Horgan
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Nov 2008 Oxford World's Classics
`If any man or woman should ask what I wish this romance... to be called, it is the Romance of the Rose, in which the whole art of love is contained'.

Guillaume de Lorris's own introduction to his allegorical account of the progress of a courtly love affair gives no indication of the eventual scale and scope of the work, which became the most popular and influential of all medieval romances. In the hands of Jean de Meun, who continued de Lorris's work, it assumed vast proportions and embraced almost every aspect of medieval life, from predestination to the right way to deal with premature hair-loss.

This new translation into modern English, based on the French edition by Félix Lecoy, is intended as much for the general reader as for students of French and English literature.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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The Romance of the Rose (Oxford World's Classics) + The Riverside Chaucer: Reissued with a new foreword by Christopher Cannon
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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (13 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199540675
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199540679
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 13 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 221,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Frances Horgan is a self-employed translator.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This story, translated from the medieval French is a marvellous read for all the allegory fans out there. It concerns the trials and tribulations of the Lover trying to reach his goal, the rose who he loves. It is interesting to compare this with the Mechant's Tale by Geoffrey Chaucer, which heavily draws from this French example of Allegory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Romance of the Rose was a medieval `bestseller': over 200 manuscripts of it have come down to us (compared to, for example, about 80 of The Canterbury Tales). The first part (c. 4000 lines) was composed by Guillaume de Lorris in c.1225, and there is an ongoing debate as to whether this was completed or left unfinished.

About forty years later, Jean de Meun wrote a much longer continuation of the poem taking a far more scholastic approach and using the text as a site for academic and philosophical debate. One way, then, of reading the de Meun section is as an `anti-Guillaume' poem, critiquing the very concept of `courtly love'.

Horgan's translation is into free and flexible modern prose, making this poem eminently readable and accessible. The introduction, however, and notes are both fairly brief and confine themselves to scene-setting, and source notes.

This is worth reading on its own merits, but is also important as a cultural resource for later medieval romance such as Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde, and Elizabethan chivalric romance such as Spenser's The Faerie Queene. It's also an important context for court revels and pageants throughout the sixteenth century: the Siege of Love motif, especially, is one which is played out at various tournaments and masques at the courts of both Henry VIII and Elizabeth.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great book 24 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My dissertation has finally provided me with an opportunity to purchase my own copy of this book for my research. It arrived quickly and on time, although a wee bit pricey, definitely worth the money.
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4.0 out of 5 stars good 22 Oct 2011
By apollon
This is a good translation of the original text. However there are some minor parts missing, and if you're studying this book, I would recommend buying the medieval French text too, just to have something to compare the translation with.
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